How to improve your focus while working from home

The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed many people into “seclusion mode” because employers have asked us to work from home for months. Working from home seems easy until you have to do it while dealing with the usual distractions of home life! Luckily, there are plenty of strategies to improve your focus in this unique work situation.

Working from home presents many challenges as it blurs work and leisure time. If you have all day at home to complete a task, people will be distracted by the internet or your phone.

Evidence-based strategies for improving focus – such as eliminating distractions, exercising, and practicing time management – ​​can help you stay productive and empower you like a pro from far away.

Read on to learn some of the best strategies for improving focus as a remote worker.


The image summarizes this article's tips on how to improve your focus while working from home.  Tips include: Organize your work area, have the right mindset, block technological distractions, prioritize breaks and healthy habits.

Tori Rubloff / ZDNet

Tip #1: Pick a workstation that’s right for you.

Energizing images for you

The overall look of your workstation can greatly affect your ability to focus. You need to keep the space not only organized but also visually appealing and energetic.

Make sure your workstation is in a room with good natural light. Try arranging any of the following objects in or around it:

  • Potted plants
  • Motivational and beautiful photos or artwork
  • Inspirational quotes
  • Personal Souvenirs

Changing the image of your work environment about every few months can also help you refresh the space.

Distract your vision out of your field of vision

Eliminating visual distractions will make it easier to focus. Clutter can be distracting, so keep the space clean. You should try to keep your phone out of reach, along with the television screen, gaming computer or even bookshelf that can distract you visually.

If you have housemates, set clear boundaries with them about when you need privacy and can’t socialize.

Comfortable ergonomics

You want to make sure that your work situation is mentally comfortable, especially if you have to sit for long periods of time. Invest in a comfortable office chair and keep it at a comfortable screen height and tilt.

Maintaining a healthy posture makes working out easier in the long run and can also ensure that you don’t unintentionally harm your body. Sitting with poor posture can increase your risk of developing problems such as sciatica.

Music or sounds to maintain concentration

Music and sounds also affect your ability to concentrate. Keep your workstation away from distracting sounds like traffic, if possible.

Music or background sounds can help you focus, depending on what you prefer. White noise machines, nature sounds, or instrumental music such as Tibetan singing bowls can create a stable and calming background.

Tip #2: Have the right mindset.

Identify when you are most productive.

Adjust your schedule to fit the time of day when your focus peaks. While many of us are most productive in the morning or mid-day, everyone is different.

For example, if you’re most alert and focused early in the morning, save your hardest tasks for that time. Focus on less tasks then.

Pay full attention to your duties.

Doing your best job means giving tasks your undivided attention. If you’re wondering whether you’re working or resting, your work will suffer – half-focused only doubles the time it takes to complete a task and can even cut the quality in half. your workload.

Maintaining a clear line between leisure time and actual work will keep you on track. It can also help you recognize when you need a break.

Capture processes and systems.

When working from home, routine and schedule are your friends. Create a schedule that clearly separates work time and self-care tasks like taking a shower, going for a walk, reading, etc. Build a schedule between waking up and going to work.

Following a consistent daily schedule can help define the lines between self-care time and work time more clearly. However, it’s okay if you don’t stick to it every minute of every day.

Create a daily to-do list.

Creating a to-do list can help increase your work productivity and overall health. To-do lists can take the form of:

  • White board
  • Then take notes
  • Online Calendar
  • Write diary

Make them visible where you often look, such as your refrigerator or living room, and at your workstation.

Productivity apps like Todoist also function as list generators.

Know what to do when your attention is dwindling.

Notice when your attention begins to wander. It’s easier to focus on work if you know the reasons why you become distracted or distracted. Then regain your focus. Strategies may include:

  • Take a deep breath and clear your mind for a moment
  • Break down bigger tasks into smaller chunks
  • Use positive self-talk

Tip #3: Block out tech distractions.

Block websites that steal your attention.

One of the limitations of the Internet is that some web pages can be so engaging that they distract from getting things done. If you must check apps like Instagram, YouTube or Facebook, mute them during work hours or consider removing them from your phone.

You may also want to block addictive websites. They may include:

  • Sports website
  • Stock Market Price Tracker
  • News sites

Turn off visual and auditory notifications for email, Slack, etc.

Phone notifications can also pull your focus away from work. Every phone buzz needs attention. It helps to turn off notifications on your phone and mute certain apps, such as email, Slack, and any apps with ads as notifications.

Avoid checking your phone every time you need to.

One of the best steps to eliminating technology distractions is to refuse to check your phone while you’re at work. You can set helpful boundaries by deciding to only check your phone during breaks.

Tip #4: Prioritize breaks and healthy habits.

Give yourself a break.

Taking a break to work well is essential. You should never feel guilty when you need a break. The human brain can only focus on less than an hour at a time. Giving your brain a break allows it to process information and refresh.

Common systems for scheduling your breaks include:

Stay active throughout the day.

Staying physically active is also possible help you focus better about your job and reduce your chances of developing health problems.

Although some people choose to join a gym, you may not need to make significant changes in your life to increase your daily physical activity. Daily activities you can incorporate include:

  • Running
  • Do full body strength exercises at home
  • Garden
  • House cleaning

Drink water and eat healthy.

Eat a healthy diet and drink a lot of water can also help you focus on your work. Dehydration and hunger are unwanted distractions.

In short

Learning how to improve focus while working from home is difficult but doable. Even capable people can struggle because we all long for separation between home and work life.

Remember that it’s okay to have occasional “off” days. No one reaches their full potential every day, especially when we are learning something completely new.

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